Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 26, 1915.djvu/67

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an Auhimn Festival of the Hindus. 57

go out into the fields in the hope of seeing a blue jay.^* Many of the Bombay tribes pay similar worship to the jay and the kingfisher, and at Nagpur the Raja used to release a jay amidst the discharge of artillery and musketry.^'

A curious example of the magical ideas underlying these celebrations is found in Nepal, where it was the custom to close the Courts of Justice and to remove from the city of Kathmandu to a neighbouring village all the under-trial prisoners and convicts imprisoned in the jail, and to keep them there till the festival was over, when they were brought back and the Courts reopened.^^ Similarly, at the Greek festival of the Thesmophoria, the Law Courts and the Boule were closed and prisoners were released, obviously with the intention that the spiritual activities current at these festivals should not be trammelled by knots or other forms of bonds.^^

The custom of the Jogi taking the place of the Raja at Mewar and Bastur is remarkable. The Maharana of Udaipur is, as we have seen, both priest and king. But even he appears to be unable to discharge the duties of royalty and the ceremonies connected with the feast at the same time, or, possibly, his conduct of the rites makes him too holy to undertake secular duties. The Jogi seems to be the descendant of the tribal medicine-man or exorcist, and perhaps, when at this period spirits likely to make them- selves unpleasant are abroad, it is preferable that a holy man, immune from their attacks, should impersonate the Rana. But even he is subject to rigid taboos. Church and State are always closely linked together in India. The

^^Ethnographic Survey, Central Provinces, part ix. (191 1), p. 131 ; R. V. Russell, IVardha Gazetteer {igo6), vol. i. p. 47.

  • ' E. Thurston, o/>. cit. vol. vi. p. 262 sq.

9« H. A. Oldfield, op. cit. vol. ii. 343.

  • »J. E. Harrison, op. cit. p. 127 ; Sir J. G. Frazer, The Golden Boitgh,^

partii. (1911), p. 2^1 sqq. 316.